The Valley Technique
I often get asked, “Lisa, what’s the best tip you can share with me to become a more powerful speaker?”
When I teach the science of speaking, I’ve got 17 techniques I’ve learned, tweaked, and mastered over the years. But the ONE technique that kicked open the most doors in my career, allowed me to build a POWERFUL business, and literally CHANGED MY LIFE is what I call “The Valley.”
If you want to impact the lives of your audience from a stage, on video, on social media, in print, on a podcast, or in an interview, I invite you to not just learn this technique, but I want you to master it.
When you think of “The Valley,” I want you to visualize the letter V. The V has three points – the top two represent the mountain tops, and the low point at the bottom is the valley.
In this week’s blog, I’ll be teaching you how to seamlessly weave together the three-part “Valley” technique to become a more powerful speaker.
# 1 The Big You (Credibility)
The top left point of the V is what I call “The Big You.” This is where you build your credibility. No shrinking allowed here. Now if you are very humble or reserved, this part is going to be a challenge for you. But as unicorns, gladiators and movers and shakers, I KNOW you are up for the challenge.
This is where you share your highlights. This is where you share your experiences, your accolades, your achievements, and your credentials.This is where you are now on top of the mountain top. You don’t want it to sound like a bio or a resume because you are going to clue them in that you are going to lead them into the low point of the valley.
So you can start with statements like:
Even though I have seven bestsellers and I’ve spoken to and inspired over 86 million people, and I’ve been able to travel and be on every single continent that could be populated by man….
Even though I’ve generated over $80 million in business and in the self-training and self-development industry in my company over the last 27 years…
You see how I just gave you my credentials inside of an “even though” statement?
You can also use this tactic:
What you may or may not know about me is…I’m a bestselling author and have written seven books.
What you may or may not know about me is…I have been featured on every major national platform.
What you may or may not know about me is… I’ve earned over 88 million over my 27 years in business.
So again, this is not spoken like a bio or a resume, it is spoken as if it’s a conversation that is about to lean into the valley with a statement following it, such as:
But what I’m sure you DON’T KNOW about me is …
#2 The Valley (Low point specific incident)
One mistake students on my campus often make is thinking the valley represents the lowest point of their life and all the low points put together. However, the valley is about an incident–a moment in time that is relevant to the topic you are speaking on.
The valley is topic specific because we’ve all got multiple valleys. There are valleys of grief when a loved one passes away. There are valleys of broken hearts. There are valleys of depression. There are valleys of hard financial times. Valleys of difficult health challenges.
It’s understanding these low points that make the mountains and high points feel so good.
So speak to the challenging moment. The specific struggle at the time. The confusion you faced…the self doubt.
Here’s an example of the Big You, and then I’ll take you into the Valley:
What most people know about me is that I have an international training and development company, that I’ve been on Oprah and Larry King and Steve Harvey, and that I have seven bestselling books and run a multi-million dollar business.
But what you might not know about me is that in 1997, I was diagnosed as clinically depressed and prescribed Prozac. I was sad. I was really, really, really sad. I just came out of an abusive relationship, and I didn’t trust Lisa. I was angry at Lisa, because Lisa didn’t just put herself in danger. She put her three-year-old son in danger.
Notice how I picked a specific moment in time? Did you notice how it counterbalances the height of my career and credibility of where I am now?
I chose that as my topic is because I’m teaching on transformation and how to transform your life.
#3 Your Commitment/Purpose/Why
The third element is the top point of the V on the right. This is what shifted. What lesson you learned. What touched you. What you began to do differently. Your purpose or your why. This is the moment that shows, “this is why I’m so committed to do what I do.”
So here is an example of how I’ll take you out of the Valley:
What most people don’t know about me is that I was clinically depressed. I had lost Lisa in 1997, 1998, and 1999. I was fighting for my life. I was fighting for my own oxygen while working to keep Jelani protected from my sadness. (Valley)
Which is why I’m so committed now to touch as many people as I can going through a low point in their lives. Now I’m so committed to help transform as many lives as I can so I can walk as many people as possible through their dark days. To walk as many people into their brightest light again. That’s why I’m willing to travel the world and willing to stand in front of you again and again. That’s why I’m willing to shoot video after video. That’s why I’m willing to sacrifice time at home with my family to be on the road to touch you. Because I KNOW that where there is hope and where there is desire, transformation can be on its way.
So there you have it. I just took you from the bottom, back to the top again.
To review, the top part of the V is your credibility and Big You. The bottom is the low moment in your life where you felt hopeless, powerless, frustrated, scared, etc. The more details you can give to help your audience see and feel what you felt the better. This is where people meet you and relate to you, so you want to do it early in the speech. Then, the top part of the V on the other side is your commitment that leads into your lesson.
This was just a taste of how “The Valley” technique works.
We go even deeper into this and the 16 other techniques inside our programs. Just remember that no matter where you are speaking or the size of the platform, you want to make an impact and a difference. You don’t want to just be good or even great. You want to strive for becoming unforgettable.
I love hearing your feedback and reading your comments and seeing your #AHA moments. So please share with me what resonated for you about this technique? Are you ready to start using “The Valley” every time you speak?
This is your home. We are your tribe. And I LOVE you, and I BELIEVE in you. These are not just words or a tagline. I say them each week because I truly do.
Your Sister in Prosperity and Possibility,